For the most part, the information contained in your credit report is likely to be accurate. That being said, there are cases in which an inaccuracy works its way onto your credit report. It could be as simple as a credit card company misreporting your credit limit, or it could be something more extreme such as being the victim of identity theft. Regardless of the cause of an inaccuracy on your credit report, if you don’t take care of it and get it corrected you’re going to find that your credit score is likely to suffer. In some cases, it can suffer greatly.
The problem is that this kind of error can happen to anyone. Even if you’re especially diligent, you’re likely to occasionally find an item on your credit report that you feel is inaccurate.
The good news is that it’s perfectly in your right to dispute those errors. When those errors are corrected, your credit score will go back up to where it should be.
There are a number of possible causes of errors in credit reports, such as your name being confused with someone of the same or a similar name, negative information on the credit report sticking around longer than what it should, and accounts being noted as not in good standing when they actually are.
Here are some things you should do to dispute errors on your credit report in order to fix your credit score:
- Submit a dispute. Each of the credit reporting agencies has a procedure for disputing information on your credit report. Follow those procedures by disputing it in writing.
- Document your claim. When you dispute the error, document it. Clearly state the facts that support your case, and include copies of any documentation that will help. Make sure to send copies, however, as you want to hang onto the originals.
- Send it via tracked or certified mail. You want to be able to prove that the dispute materials were indeed sent to the credit reporting agency.
- Wait for a decision. The credit reporting agency will let you know their findings, typically within 30 days. If you don’t hear anything, check back with them.